|Yesterday something strange started happening. My computer's performance took a massive nosedive.|
Simple things such as sound playback and mouse movement are very choppy/laggy. Overall performance of applications is at about 10-20% of what it was before yesterday.
Close inspection of Windows Task Manager shows one core at near 100% CPU usage whilst the other remains relatively idle. Process information shows no processes using up any large amounts of CPU. There is plenty of free RAM available.
Furthermore, upon restart of Windows XP, I am now told I have made significant hardware changes and that I must reactivate XP within 3 days.
Using Diagnostic Startup (via msconfig) yields the same problem.
When I boot using a Ubuntu Live CD the core/CPU usage problem does not appear to manifest itself (that is, I can play video/surf the web/do lots of other stuff all at the same time without any performance hit or one core maxing out).
Does anyone want to guess at what the problem might be? Would it be an XP software issue or a hardware fault? Is there a way of testing each of the two CPU cores in Ubuntu/Linux?